ADP Standards: Army Cancels Restrictive 3-Tier Architecture Standards - GAO Report
|Date:||May 17, 1988|
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Management information systems
In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Army's 3-tier architecture policy for processing and exchanging data among its various automated systems and its associated standards to: (1) determine whether they complied with the Brooks Act, the Competition in Contracting Act of 1984, and federal regulations; (2) evaluate their potential long-term effects on automatic data processing (ADP) procurements; (3) provide a perspective on prior Department of Defense (DOD) and Army standards; and (4) determine whether the Army continued to refer to the 3-tier architecture standards after it withdrew them in 1987.
GAO found that: (1) the 3-tier architectural policy was conceptual and did not specify computer products; (2) since the policy described information required at each of the three levels, and was independent of procurement laws and regulations, it did not violate applicable procurement laws or regulations; (3) the standards, which specified proprietary computer products without justification, would have limited competition in all future Army ADP procurements and violated the Competition in Contracting Act; (4) the Army did not measure economic and other long-term effects of implementing the policy; (5) DOD directed the Army to withdraw the standards and develop new standards that complied with laws and regulations; (6) the Army rescinded the standards after some confusion arose in interpreting their applicability; and (7) although the Army has not referred to the 3-tier standards in recent procurements, they contained proprietary products identical to the products named within the standards.